Review: Fields of Arle

Fields of Arle is a 2 player worker placement game by Uwe Rosenberg, released in 2014 by Z-Man Games.  As with most of Uwe’s games, it revolves around a family of farmers, trying to carve out a place of their own without starving.  But unlike his other 2 player offerings (Agricola All Creatures Big and Small, La Harve The Inland Port), this is not a slimmed down version of one of his other successful publishing’s, this my friends is a deep strategy game that plays out fantastically over 9 rounds, leaving little time to devise a strategy and get your house in order for final scoring.

Fields of Arle takes place in the early 1800’s in the small village of Arle, located in East Frisia.  What was later released in an expansion (we’ll get to that in another post), it’s historically accurate and provides a proper depiction of life in this little town.  Workers were literally reclaiming land from the sea by creating draining systems so the peat could be harvested and the land used to settle new establishments.

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As with most worker placement games, your small family has a limited number of workers that can be used each round, each being assigned to a different task.  But unlike other worker placement games, where players are fighting over the same actions, the designer provided a plethora of actions available.  Instead of providing a single route to victory, there are multiple to choose from.  Are you going to farm? Are you going to be a trader? Are you going to establish buildings or hone your skills to be more efficient in your actions?  That is what makes Fields of Arle different, and great.  You can develop your own strategy to victory, and hone it over time, and revise it from game to game.

I love what Uwe has done here, and it continue to be a top choice for early morning board games with my brother.  If you’re a fan of Uwe, worker placement, or farming in general, this is a great game to add to your collection.

For a more in-depth look, I highly recommend reading Shut Up and Sit Down’s review located here. You can also read the overview over on Z-Man Games.

Links

Fields of Arle at Amazon

Fields of Arle at BoardGameGeek.com

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